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How to Overcome Caregiver Guilt

As your parents age, you might take on the role of caregiver for them. They’ve done so much for you your whole life, so it’s only natural to take care of them now, right? However, with all your responsibilities at work, at home, and with your other family members, this can quickly get overwhelming. 

It may be a good idea to look for available senior care options before you feel like you’re getting too stressed. Although it may not feel like it at the time, you are making the right decision for yourself and your family. You may feel like enlisting help from others means  you’re not capable of attending to your loved one’s needs, or it might feel like you are passing them off. While these feelings are valid, we have some tips on how to overcome caregiver guilt:


Acknowledge Your Guilt

The first step to managing guilt is acknowledging it. It’ll be easier to cope with your negative emotions once you determine what they are, and why you are feeling them. Finding senior care services might feel like you’re doing something wrong, but remember many others are going through the same process, and it is a job you don’t need to take on alone.

Remember the Positive Things You’ve Done

Enlisting professional senior care services can possibly make you feel inadequate. In such situations, remember all the positive things you’ve done for your senior family member. This can include emotional, financial, or physical support. 

Remind yourself you’re doing everything in your power to give them the care and attention they deserve, and finding proper care will improve their life as well. Getting help is another positive. If you use services such as an adult day center, you are allowing your parent time to interact with their peers, and have a genuinely fun day while you are at work.

Stop “Shoulding” Yourself

As a caregiver, there are many things you or the society thinks you “should” be doing. However, don’t overexert yourself to accommodate what others expect of you. Everybody is living with their own unique circumstances, and it is okay to ask for help. 

Don’t Punish Yourself

Throughout this journey of overcoming guilt, try to avoid being hard on yourself. Guilt can make you feel bad because you’re entrusting your loved one’s welfare to someone else. It’s important to understand you’re not being selfish, you are looking out for your loved one as well. If you need more help you can look into caregiver resources that can help find others like you, and get advice directly from caregivers.

Practice Mindfulness

Being mindful is crucial in helping you cope with caregiver guilt. It will take your mind away from focusing on regrets or things that happened in the past. If you focus on the benefits of looking for help, it can help get rid of the negative thoughts.

In addition, mindfulness will help you reflect and make you more aware of your guilt. Ask yourself questions and take note of your responses. Doing this will help you determine what to do to reduce stress.

Overcome Caregiver Guilt by Considering an Adult Day Center

At Then & Now Adult Day Center in Madison, WI, we provide a safe, supportive, and stimulating environment to aging adults. Our community-based day program allows our elderly clients to stay independent and active in their community. Contact us today.